In the first study of its kind, an international team of genomics researchers have identified new regions of the genome that are associated with skin color variation in some African populations. In these newly identified regions are genes that repair DNA damage caused by UV light, are associated with albinism and contribute to the production of a novel lysosomal protein. Lysosomes play a role in optimizing nutrition, fighting infections and now, with these findings, in pigmentation. The study was published October 12 in Science.
This month's The Genomics Landscape features a story about The GTEx Project's legacy, which lives on in its now publicly available atlas for studying human genomic variation and how it relates to gene expression. Also, best wishes to Dr. Jean McEwen, who recently retired from NHGRI's Division of Genomics and Society and management of the Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications (or ELSI) Research Program; a request for comments on the Genomic Data Sharing Policy; and changes to policies that guide the stewardship of NIH-funded clinical trials.
Researchers from the Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) Consortium, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), have completed a detailed atlas documenting the stretches of human DNA that influence gene expression - a key way in which a person's genome gives rise to an observable trait, like hair color or disease risk. This atlas is a critical resource for the scientific community interested in how individual genomic variation leads to biological differences across human tissues and cell types.
The 21st Century Cures Act, enacted December 13, 2016, strengthened privacy protections for research participants. Now, a new policy specifically requires additional protections for sensitive information collected from participants as part of federally-funded research. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently put forth this new policy requiring all NIH-funded investigators conducting sensitive, health-related human subjects research be issued Certificates of Confidentiality instead of by researcher request.
Genome: Unlocking Life's Code, the traveling genomics science exhibit created by NHGRI and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, needs a passport ... because it's going international for the first time! The exhibit will move on to Science North in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. From September 30, 2017 - January 1, 2018, check out the hands-on, interactive activities sure to get you excited about the world of genome science. The exhibit relates the exciting history genomic research, showcases its bright future, and highlights the increasing relevance of genomics in our lives today.